On the balcony, Jabu was standing at the rail, looking out at the sea. It was dark now. The sun had disappeared.
He was talking on his iPhone. I heard every word.
“Yes, fine. I’ll be at the airport to fetch you. What time does the plane land? Ten? Right, ten o’clock tomorrow morning. No problem.”
He turned and saw me. He wrapped his arms around me, and spread his hands over the soft, expensive material of my dress. (Well, Lindi’s dress.)
He said, “I’m really worried, Zonke.”
“Because I seem to be falling in love with you. And that wasn’t part of the plan.”
In love with me! Imagine! So no, I didn’t ask him about the chick in the photos. Why spoil such a happy evening? Hey, maybe she was his sister or something? I didn’t ask him who he was fetching at the airport either.
But I was thinking, That Cinderella chick, she didn’t have such problems. She danced with her Prince Charming and ‘Boom!’ Next thing she is living in a palace with a thousand servants and wardrobes full of beautiful clothes. Happily ever after!
It was still early. But Jabu wanted to drive me home. “I’m not going to upset your brain surgeon father or your UCT lecturer mother. Not on our first date.”
So I climbed back into the Jaguar. I sank into the white leather seat.
“Right Zonke, where to in Constantia?”
Panic! I had to think fast. “I’m staying at Bishopscourt tonight. At my sister’s home. Her husband is away on business.”
The Jaguar purred softly along the highway with its orange lights, then on to the gates of my sister’s employer’s house.
“Can I come in, Zonke? I’d love to meet your sister.”
More panic! More fast thinking! “Better not, Jabu. Her baby will be asleep.” Hey, I would make a good actress!
So he kissed me goodnight outside the gate. It was a kiss made in heaven, let me tell you! Especially with the smell of his expensive aftershave all around me. I’ve never in my life smelt anything that good.
“Listen, Zonke, I have to fly to New York for meetings, for the next two weeks at least. But I’ll phone you soon as I’m back.”
Two weeks! How was I supposed to last for two weeks? What if he met someone prettier in New York? New York must be full of beautiful women.
The security guard let me in. “Hey, Angel-face. That’s a fine car there! Good – you deserve a millionaire boyfriend.”
But my sister wasn’t so kind. “Who do you think you are, stealing my stuff? I had a hot date tonight. I wanted to wear that black dress. You never think of anyone but yourself, Zonke.”
I ignored her while she moaned on and on. Cinderella had wicked sisters too, didn’t she? But I was thinking, “Tomorrow I will be at the airport at ten. Oui! Just to put my mind at rest. Otherwise how will I last two weeks?”
What do you think? Who is Jabu meeting at the airport? Is he really going to New York, or is that just an excuse?